Commonly Asked Questions and Answers About GA Divorce Law

Do I have to comply with any legal waiting period in Georgia before I can file for divorce?
No. As opposed to some states, Georgia does not require any period of legal separation before one can file for divorce.
How long does it take to get a divorce decree in GA?
The answer varies widely, and it depends in large part on how you and your spouse handle your divorce. If it will be a simple uncontested divorce, you can usually have your divorce decree issues in as little as thirty-one days after your spouse has been served reasons to hire a divorce attorney with the divorce paperwork. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are going to be debating serious issues such as child custody, child support, alimony payments or the division of marital property, the divorce process can take months or longer.
What should I do if I have been the victim of domestic violence?
Tell your lawyer, or if you do not have a lawyer, tell the court. For your safety, it may be necessary to obtain a temporary or permanent restraining order to protect you and your children from your spouse.
What is the difference between a fault and no-fault divorce?
Georgia is considered a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that either spouse can claim that the marriage suffers from “irreconcilable differences” which will be sufficient grounds to obtain the divorce. There need be no other grounds according to Georgia law, such as abuse or adultery. The result is that if one spouse wants a divorce, there is little the other spouse can do to stop it. Interestingly, even though Georgia is a no-fault state, at times attorneys will pursue a “fault” divorce anyway. For instance, if adultery can be proven, there is a chance that alimony payments would not be permitted, in which case a fault divorce would have significant benefits over a no-fault divorce.
Does Georgia law provide for legal separation?
Yes. For many couples who do not want to get a divorce, they can apply for a legal separation (otherwise known as a separate best schools for public interest law maintenance action) which accomplishes many of the same things as a divorce without the final issuance of a divorce decree.
Do I need an attorney?
No. In Georgia, any individual can represent themselves in a divorce proceeding. Importantly, however, when you choose to represent yourself, you are essentially choosing to serve as your own lawyer. As such, a judge will expect you to behave like a lawyer and follow the court’s rules on GA divorce law. If you are not familiar with the legal system, this can be frustrating and you may be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.

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